My Student Proofreading Toolkit includes 17 handy Word find/replace strings and wildcard searches that will help you tidy up your PhD thesis or Master’s dissertation before you hand it over to a third-party professional proofreader or submit it to your university’s assessors.
The toolkit includes:
These DIY tips are designed to complement, not replace, a rigorous proofread. You can polish your document at any stage, but, for the sake of efficiency, I recommend carrying out the tasks after you've finished writing your thesis or dissertation and reviewed its purpose, content and structure.
No advanced technical knowledge is required – even the novice Word user will be able to implement these tasks by following the step-by-step instructions (and associated screenshots). You can even select and copy some of the longer find/replace and wildcard search strings from the PDF.
A word of caution – always save a backup copy of your file first, just in case you implement changes incorrectly. It's easier to revert to a fallback document than to repair a damaged one. I always test complex find/replace and wildcard search strings beforehand.
The self-editing tips I’ve chosen are some of my personal favourites. I hope you find them as useful as I do!
Louise Harnby is a professional proofreader and copyeditor. She curates The Proofreader's Parlour and is the author of several books on business planning and marketing for editors and proofreaders.
Visit her business website at Louise Harnby | Proofreader, say hello on Twitter at @LouiseHarnby, or connect via Facebook and LinkedIn.
Search the blog
I'm an Advanced Professional Member of the UK's national editorial society.
All text on this blog, The Proofreader's Parlour, and on the other pages of this website (unless indicated otherwise) is in copyright © 2011–17 Louise Harnby. Please do not copy or reproduce any of the content, in whole or part, in any form, unless you ask first.
Author Member of The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi). I abide by its Code of Standards in regard to my status as an independent writer.
Advanced Professional Member of the Society for Editors and Proofreaders (SfEP). I'm a signatory to its code of practice as a professional editor.
Featured in The Book Designer's Carnival of the Indies: Joel Friedlander's collection of 'outstanding articles recently posted to blogs'.
Terms and conditions
Q&A with Louise
Tel: 07767 028976
© Louise Harnby 2011/17